About Car Paint
Oct 3 2009

I think I’ll do a few posts starting with the word “About” just for the fun of it.  My last post was called About Writing.  I’m writing about car paint now because of an unusual series of events that have taken place that led to a better than expected outcome.  A few weeks ago I was rear-ended.  Fortunately I was at a stand still and he thought I had moved on so he was also starting from a stand still, but he bumped into me twice.  He followed me into a nearby parking lot and we exchanged phone numbers.  The damage seemed so mild that I figured we’d take care of it without getting insurance involved.  I was a little shaken up, but he was so nice and apologetic.  He also happened to do body & paint work on the side!

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I called him to set something up and he was working at a moving company.  I called him later when I knew what weekend day would work for me and it turned out he had left that company and is going to start at a mobile paint and dent fixing company next week. He loves to paint cars!  How fortunate for me.

In the meantime, I was trying to park in a downtown parking garage and went in the wrong side – the employee parking side instead of the visitor side.  I figured that out too late when there were a couple of cars already behind me.  I tried to back up and happened to misjudge the angle and scraped the passenger side car door against a brick wall that had yellow paint.

So he came out this weekend buffed out the back fender, removed the yellow paint from my scratch, and touched up the entire car with paint he had personally mixed to match the car.  I paid him $40 for the touch-up even though he only asked for $30.  The car still needs work and the damage I did myself resulted in a dent on the side panel that will probably cost about $600 to fix right but at least there’s no more yellow paint on my car and hopefully in the light of day (it was raining so we were in the garage) it will still look better than it did.  He warned me that it might not look as good as he would like in the light of day and sunlight.

Anyway, I was really impressed with this 22 year old guy who said this was his very first accident of his life.  Hard to believe that a 22 year old guy exists who hasn’t an accident, but he seemed genuine and so thrilled about his new job at this fantastic paint and dent place that would give him a guaranteed good salary, 401k, benefits, and would even pay for Lasik surgery if he wanted it.  He seemed so excited about the opportunity to do what he apparently loved to do: paint cars.   He was very well mannered and called me “Ma’am” and spoke about being raised to do a job right.  I learned a little bit about him while holding the flashlight so he could do the touch-up.  I learned about where he was from, where his mom lived, how he learned to paint, who taught him to paint, paint fumes, acetone, his ‘ex-lady’s’ driving challenges, and other such things.

It’s always nice to run across people who follow through on what they say.  He could have easily blown me off and not returned my phone calls.  He could have not accepted his role in the situation and moved on with his life, but he didn’t.  We didn’t exchange insurance cards because to me the damage was so minor and many people take care of things like this without getting insurance involved.  He could have just disappeared or given me a wrong phone number, but he didn’t.  I have a feeling this guy will do really well at his new company with the kind of personable, customer service attitude he has.

So I guess in a weird sort of way a not-so-great thing (i.e., getting rear ended) ended up in a situation that was less of a pain than it could have been.   Well that’s of course assuming I don’t have long term brain damage, but if I do that’s probably just from living life and having kids. :-)  Now I have to decide whether I want to fix the dent and scrapes since I hope to be able to sell my 8 year old car, which has almost 100,000 miles on it, next year…

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